Soren Kierkegaard thought that there comes a critical moment in life where the ‘point becomes to understand more and more that there is something which cannot be understood.’
A few centuries before him, the Cloud of Unknowing distilled the Christian mystical tradition in saying that ‘by love we can know him, by thought never’. This is an apparently hard point to grasp for many western, left-brain biased people. Yet life continually presents us with entry points to mystery where our blue-prints, models of reality, ideologies and explanations for things simply crumble before the reality we are facing.
This encounter with the mystery of reality is also an encounter with the inescapable reality of mystery. Our ordinary minds falter and fail to compute some things. But they cannot deny that these things exist and that they are powerful forces of transformation.
The death of someone we love, falling in love, suffering a disappointment or a breakthrough in creative thinking may initiate a chain of events requiring us truly to understand that some things cannot be understood, just known, pondered and respected.
In these last days of Lent we get ready for the portal of mystery contained within the events re-called and commemorated during Holy Week. The better prepared we are for handling what we cannot easily understand the more significant these events will be for us this year. To prepare for this it is necessary, at this stage, not to undertake anything new but to do what we have been doing or intended to do with new resolve.